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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:34 pm 
Bjorn van Sinttruije wrote:
You can turn the flash head in any direction you want while flashing wirelessly, no problem at all.


I think that's clear enough. :P

Mark


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:36 pm 
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ChickenFriedRyce wrote:
I'm sure you know exactly what I mean, but just to clarify myself, Bounce(Tilt the head anyway I want) and wireless at the same time.


Yes, that is possible. You can tilt the head 90 degrees upwards, 90 to the left, and 180 to the right, and still flash wirelessly in all positions. There is a little sensor that receives light from the build-in flash that, according to the manual, should be facing the camera itself, but I have found this to be not 100% neccessary.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:04 pm 
o.o

My bad. I need to stop doing that. But thanks for the info!


I may have found a 56 flash for just as cheap though!!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 12:52 pm 
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Really, a 56! From Sony? That'd be great, the more power, the better. I'm already looking for a second flash (because I know I'll need one for a school assignment next calendar year) which would be the HVL-F58AM from Sony. It's still a little too expensive though, also because I still want to buy more lenses...

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:54 am 
is it possible to use the flash wirelessly with out having to use the camera's built in flash?

It seems from your review that you have to use the body's flash but I could be mistaken.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:46 pm 
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tobywuk wrote:
is it possible to use the flash wirelessly with out having to use the camera's built in flash?

It seems from your review that you have to use the body's flash but I could be mistaken.

There are two ways that can be done. One is simple but expensive, the others is costless but a little more complicated.
1) You can fire the flash manually. In one of the videos, you'll see a button titled 'Test' which will fire the flash. You can set it's power, and the angle (16mm to 105mm) on the flash itself, which can be a little complicated, because you have to do some test shots to get the power right.
2) You can also buy a remote flash cable and off camera shoe to connect the flash (with wire) to the camera. See the Alpha compatible Lenses and Accessories guide for links (I'm advertising :wink: ). The cable and shoe costs a small fortune though...
Best option therefore is to fire the flash manually. You can best do this by using a longer exposure time (1/5 sec.) on a tripod, press the shutter button, fire the flash and hope you'll have fired it in time (before the shutter closes). I used that technique for the shot of the Jaguar scale car which I send you via PM, and once you know how to do it, it's not that difficult.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 1:50 pm 
Thanks for the info.

I was watching This flash video you linked in a nother topic. He is uses a nikon camera but he is able to set the flash on the main body camera to not fire but be used t controle the wireless flash. Can this be done with the HVL-F42AM?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:34 pm 
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Some silly questions: In the review, a diffuser is mentioned. I just want to clear up what this is. Is it a part of the flash? Or an add on? If so, did it come with the flash or a separate accessory?

Does the flash work well at short distances? By that, I'm thinking under 2m from camera to subject.

Reason for asking this is I feel a bit limited in my indoor ability at the moment. I currently work around using tripod and long exposures. The built in flash of the A350 is too low, so often I get lens shadow at very short range. Also I think I really could use a much more diffuse light. I wonder if one of those white clip on plastic boxes will suffice, or if I need to start looking at those umbrella like things. Stop me if I get too technical there :D

Basically I've tried assorted direct lighting, but they're all too harsh. I want bright even lighting to keep sharp shadows to a minimum, which I suspect can only really be achieved by having light from a large area. On that note... how well does bouncing the flash work?

And on the remote activation, I assume there will be a small time difference between the body flash going off and the external flash. I assume the camera is clever enough to sync to the external flash? Or are the two close enough together that they work together?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:19 pm 
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tobywuk wrote:
I was watching This flash video you linked in a nother topic. He is uses a nikon camera but he is able to set the flash on the main body camera to not fire but be used t controle the wireless flash. Can this be done with the HVL-F42AM?

Yes, that can be done, exactly the same way, only changing the settings is a lot easier on the Sony.

IMPORTANT: I'm planning to make a CL-style video review the next couple of days, which, of course, I will link to in this thread!

popo wrote:
...a diffuser is mentioned. I just want to clear up what this is. Is it a part of the flash? Or an add on? If so, did it come with the flash or a separate accessory?

Yes, this is build into the flash. I'll show it in the video. It's a small, plastic diffusor that folds out of the flash head and is used to get light at a wider angle.

popo wrote:
Does the flash work well at short distances? By that, I'm thinking under 2m from camera to subject.

Must say I haven't really payed close attention to close distance shots. Best would be to use an omnibounce, because the ligth might be a little hard. It is however useable at 2m, also without omnibounce. For portraits, don't expect the light to be extremely flattering, in dark conditions that is. Unless of course, you bounce of a wall or ceiling...

popo wrote:
Reason for asking this is I feel a bit limited in my indoor ability at the moment. I currently work around using tripod and long exposures. The built in flash of the A350 is too low, so often I get lens shadow at very short range. Also I think I really could use a much more diffuse light. I wonder if one of those white clip on plastic boxes will suffice, or if I need to start looking at those umbrella like things. Stop me if I get too technical there
Basically I've tried assorted direct lighting, but they're all too harsh. I want bright even lighting to keep sharp shadows to a minimum, which I suspect can only really be achieved by having light from a large area. On that note... how well does bouncing the flash work?

I can tell you, an external flash is probably one of THE MOST USEFUL accessories you can buy for your camera. I don't use the pop-up flash anymore (only for flashing wireless), because compared to the flash gun, it just isn't much good. For diffuse light, the cheapest and also a very good option would be to bounce of ceilings and walls. Alternatively, use an omnibounce to diffuse the light. I don't have one of these myself yet, but they're an absolute neccessity on flash guns (I'm saving too hard for my lens, so no money for the omnibounce :wink: ).
Apart from the omnibounce, there are also small and even pretty large softboxed available for flash guns like these. Some of these can only be used when the flash is not mounted on the camera or mounted on a seperately sold bracket (you'll need cables for that, and they are **** expensive). Umbrella's are also available, and can be used on the HVL-F42AM flash gun, but you'll have to use it off camera (wireless, with those expensive wires or manually).

popo wrote:
And on the remote activation, I assume there will be a small time difference between the body flash going off and the external flash. I assume the camera is clever enough to sync to the external flash? Or are the two close enough together that they work together?

The pop-up flash will fire, providing the off camera flash gun with TTL-information etc. (yes, that all works perfectly fine) and in a matter of milliseconds, the flash gun will fire while the shutter is open. All goes extremely fast. I wish I had a high speed video camera to show you in the video review, but... I'll have to use my P&S Cyber Shot...

Looking foward to sharing the video with you guys!
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:06 pm 
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Thanks for the info... think that's on my shopping short list :) Looking forward to the video too.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:13 pm 
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popo wrote:
Thanks for the info... think that's on my shopping short list :) Looking forward to the video too.

Great! Nice to see my review is useful and can convince you to buy something.
I've written a script for the review, but haven't had time to record it yet. Sunday maybe, otherwise next week.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:17 pm 
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Thanks to you, I've pretty much decided on getting the flash, it's more a matter of when and from where. I think I'll lump it with my next lens purchase to save postage, on that note I need to start another thread...

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:23 pm 
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What would that next lens be popo? You're making me curious :o .

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:47 pm 
Good review although I don't use Sony. Bjorn only touches the beginnings of how to use external flashguns. But in general the better effects are managed by getting the flash off the camera - either wirelessly if you have the space, or by TTL cords and off-camera frames.

Regarding the A200/300/350 and the pop-up flash, I've been sceptical about the design. Gordon's mentioned that it doesn't raise very high from the camera, and the guide number isn't impressive. What concerns me more is with moisture control. Under the hinge to the pop up there is a spring release and I felt it poorly designed as it could allow outside elements like rain, moisture, sand or dust to enter into the prism. It's early days with the three models less than a year old, but I'd be intrigued to see how many succumb to prism problems (not that I wish it to happen).

Switching between the Sony wireless and the Nikon CLS are two different things. Undoubted the Sony system has a slightly more intuitive configuration, but the Nikon CLS is far more adaptable and flexible with layout of flash units. I justify this by having tested both systems with a 4 flash layout in the corners of a square configuration of 8m with the camera a metre behind the midpoint on one side of the square. All 4 fired with the Nikon CLS whereas only 2 fired from the Sony. The ones on the sides didn't register the wireless. However for the casual photographer, the Sony system works fine.

As for external flash units working at short distances, this is not a good idea as harsh shadows (regardless of an omnibounce or similar) just happens. This is because the light is coming from above the camera if mounted on the hotshoe, and there's no light source from below the camera which causes the shadowing. This is why there are macro ringlights that allows flash to be used for close ups by having light even distributed around the the lens.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 2:19 pm 
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Photoj wrote:
Good review although I don't use Sony. Bjorn only touches the beginnings of how to use external flashguns.

Thanks Ed. I'm no pro, especially not at flash photography, so my review is without a doubt not as detailed as it could be.
I held the A350 last friday, and I must say, that pop-up flash is indeed very tiny. A neccessary compromise for the Live View system Sony uses. Haven't checked the dust/water-resistance, but it sounds serious...
The wireless function of the flash is something I've started to use more and more lately. Haven't checked the configurtation you described, but I'm sure Nikon's system will work better than Sony's. Again, I'm not a pro, so I don't really mind. Once I want to do some more serious studio photography, I'll look into a more serious lighting set.
Those macro ringlights, and the macro twin flash set even more, are super-expensive for Sony. I've been thinking of buying a ringlight some day, but the price tag is too high for the use I'll get out of it, I guess.

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